Tag: harry potter

A Weasley Sweater for DUUUKE

This is my buddy, Duke. Duke is a fox terrier with a goofy smile, skinny legs and a pointy bum! Duke loves cuddles and any kind of attention he can get. And although Duke came from Alberta where the snow piles high and the temperature drops low, Duke lives in the temperate weather of Vancouver, and he gets cold!

Back when I first started knitting, I made myself a Weasley sweater which turned out so well everyone else wanted one too. 3 sweaters later, we decided that our family dog Pepper should have one. I made my first dog sweater in the same style, and this became our family go-to for Christmas and family photos.

Years later, Pepper is no longer with us, but I now make friends with all the furbabies I encounter. I am grateful for all the people who are kind enough to share their furry friends with me. I received special commission to make a sweater for Duke, and I was happy to oblige!

When you don’t have a dog to model, but you do have a ceramic polar bear…

The quality of my work has much improved since my early knitting days. Better materials, better workmanship, better outcome. I got to work with hand-dyed merino wool (courtesy of Duke’s momma aka Fidley Dyeworks), and tried my hand at fairisle knitting. I even have fancy fabric tags with my logo on it now!

Duke is a lovely customer. He absolutely returns all the love and looks super handsome and cozy. He’s probably the fanciest doggo in the park.

 

Bonus: found this cute little video of Pepper wanting all the attention. This is what knitting with a dog was like <3

Harry Potter-Inspired Knitted Quilt

Here’s another Harry Potter-themed project!

Back in the summer of 2012, the family took a trip to Singapore where the Singapore ArtScience Museum was featuring a Harry Potter exhibit full of props from the movies. One of the most memorable pieces I saw was a knitted patchwork quilt from someone’s bed (forgive me HP fans, I don’t actually remember whose it was).

This was during the early days when I was starting to get into knitting. I had just graduated from high school and was moving into the dorms at university. I needed something to keep me busy during the nights when I was there alone. My mom taught me how to knit simple squares using scrap yarn, which I would later assemble into a quilt.

Each base square was 4″ x 4″. I had a small cardboard cutout of this square so I could use a variety of yarns and gauges and still get the appropriate size and shape.  I also made a few larger ones equivalent to 4 base squares (8″ x 8″) and some longer pieces (4″ x 8″). Any multiple of your base square would work. Once I got bored of the basic stockinette stitch, I started looking up stitch patterns online. This was where I learned to experiment with knitting, as the little squares provided a good opportunity to try making swatches of different designs.

Once I had collected a decent amount of squares in a variety of colors and patterns, I laid them out and arranged them in a way I liked and began linking them together. If there were any holes, I just made a few extra squares to fill them in. I wanted my quilt to have a bit of a messy, rough look, so I did my stitching in a visible white yarn quite unevenly. I didn’t try to hide the stitching or make it look pretty. Lastly, I used the remainder of my scrap yarn to make tassels to line all the edges at every 4″ join. To make the tassels even, I used a piece of cardboard that was the desired length and wound my yarn around it until it was the desired thickness, then I tied and cut it. I’m sure there are plenty of tutorials on how to make tassels online. This is how I’ve always done it.

The final size of the quilt is about 50″ x 80″. It is quite heavy, so it tends to stretch and wrap around you so it is extra cozy and WARM! I definitely recommend this project to those who are new to knitting or those who want to try out some new stitch designs. Since it is quite big, it does require some commitment, but breaking it down into smaller components makes this process easier! Often times I would have some spare time here and there so I would make a quick square and tuck it away. I have also heard of knitting groups that work together to make pieces that get assembled into quilts and donated later.

I have received many compliments from houseguests who have visited or stayed the night. When not in use, I like to have it draped in the corner of my window bench to add some color and texture rather than having it hidden away in a closet. It definitely adds a homely feel to the room! (:

Weasley Sweaters

Harry Potter was one of the franchises I grew up with. Although I was never a huge fan of reading, I thoroughly enjoyed the films (probably because I was never spoiled by the books). At the time when ugly sweaters became popular, I really wanted to get on that fad, but all the sweaters I tried on seemed to be too ugly, too expensive for an ugly sweater, or just…not me? This was disappointing.

When I actually broke down what it is that made ugly sweaters so fashionable, I decided that they were really just oversized, knitted, and a little rough around the edges. In fact, they were very basic. I started looking up patterns online and flipping through old knitting pattern books where really, all the sweaters were “ugly”. I stumbled upon this Weasley sweater pattern which was a very simple 4-piece design with some stitching for the letter in the front.

I bought my yarn (Loops & Threads Impeccable) and got started. I actually ended up adapting my initial sweater multiple times as I improved my technique. By the end, I not only had 3 different adult women’s size sweaters, but even a small dog sweater to match (from a different pattern, obviously).

The pattern gave the option of using the intarsia method to put in the design, or simply to stitch it over the sweater with a darning needle at the end. I wasn’t motivated to learn the intarsia method, so I chose the second option. It still turned out great, and I liked that I could make adjustments if I decided I didn’t like the position of the lettering or a particular stitch. It wasn’t too much extra bulk, although in certain places if you didn’t stitch it right, some of the background color may peek through, which was annoying. I found that it helped reduce this problem if you did the stitches in rows back and forth from top to bottom. It was also important that you at least somewhat plan out your design before starting, including where you would start, end, and connect the stitches in tricky areas (ie. the curve of the J). The pattern provided a guide for doing the standard H design, but for all other letters you were on your own. All the more reason why I wasn’t ready to do the intarsia method.

Overall it’s a pretty good project for beginners who have mastered the knit and purl stitches and are looking to try following a pattern, assuming you have the patience to follow through on the whole project as it is quite large. Although I did incorporate my own little techniques like grafting and adjustments to the collar, this isn’t necessary and following the pattern as is suffices just fine.

I love wearing this sweater now, and I always get compliments on it. It’s quirky but still cute and VERY warm. The only downside is I have to wait ’til the really cold winter months to wear it.